A restful night’s sleep offers more to our overall health and well being than we often give it credit for. According to Harvard University, just some of the consequences of not getting enough sleep include:
- Mood disorders
- Heart disease
- Shortened life expectancy
One of the best ways to ensure that you get the sleep you need on a consistent basis is to find the mattress that works for you. If you’re considering a foam mattress, you need to understand that “foam” is a broad category with a variety of specifications. There are many different types of foam but in this article we will have an indebt look at memory foam, the most famous and commonly used mattress type.
Memory foam is a polyurethane material that is sensitive to pressure and temperature, used especially in mattresses, where it molds to the shape of an individual’s body.
Things have come a long way since the emergence of memory foam, and you have likely come across various types of memory foam mattresses. What you probably didn’t realize is that there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to this material. There are different chemical combinations that are used in foam manufacturing. While they all leave a handprint when you press on them, they each feature their own unique properties that make a difference in the way they feel. When you apply pressure, it takes several seconds for the mattress to resume its original form. Even the same manufacturer may apply a variety of formulas in order to offer their customers the ability to choose what will work better for them.
If you suffer from chronic back and/or neck pain, memory foam may be the best choice for you as long-term use has been shown to reduce the overall discomfort caused by these conditions. Allergy suffers can also benefit from its hypoallergenic properties. As you shop, it’s worth taking a look at a listing of the best memory foam mattresses on the market.
Memory foam, in general, responds to heat and pressure. When you lay on the mattress, you can expect it to soften as your body heat has a chance to make its way into the layers. However, the degree of temperature sensitivity varies. Products that are more temperature sensitive will become softer when you lay on them, and the areas around your body will be firmer.
There are currently three types of memory foams you should know. Traditional, air-cool and gel types…
Traditional Memory Foam
Traditional memory foam took the mattress industry by storm in the 1990’s, as consumers were attracted to the cradling it provides. Not only does this prove effective in reducing pressure on your joints, but it also helps improve your blood circulation. Another huge selling point was the fact that memory foam is highly effective in reducing motion transfer.
This kind of foam is antimicrobial, a feature which reduces the number of dust mites and other bugs that can make allergies flare-up. In fact, it makes for a much healthier sleeping environment all round.
Also, a traditional memory foam mattress will last much longer than a spring type because of the materials used and the way it’s constructed.
Air Cool Memory Foam
One of the biggest complaints about memory foam mattresses is the amount of heat they can produce. This is because lots of models have been designed so they react to your body temperature. When this happens, the material softens which is why you get such great support from them. In fact, you could say it’s a little like sleeping on air. An ideal heat transfer solution can be found in air cool memory foam. This option responds more quickly to your body heat, allowing the product to soften faster and more efficiently channel heat out of the product. This can help transfer heat more readily and, when combined with open-cell technology, sleepers have a solution with proven results.
If you opt for a mattress that includes this technology, it will respond to your body temperature much quicker and will channel the warmth out. This eliminates the issue with additional heat and makes for a cooler night’s sleep.
Some models also use open cell technology which helps to distribute heat more evenly.
Gel Memory Foam
Gel infused memory foam is another option for those concerned with the inability of traditional memory foam to disperse heat. Just like traditional memory foam, gel technology will help stop motion transfer when people sleep in the same bed and will cradle the pressure points over your body. Gel foam is also anti-microbial so you can keep those allergies at bay. You have likely come across this technology in sports equipment and shoe inserts. An aqueous substance, gel is known to take on the temperature of its surroundings. Therefore, when you lay on the mattress, it’s capable of absorbing your body heat, and this helps keep the product cool. However, if you’ve ever used a gel ice pack, you know that it’s cold when it first comes out of the freezer. Throughout the day, it becomes warmer until it reaches room temperature. At this point, it is no longer able to serve its purpose in keeping your food cool. Likewise, as the gel beads found in gel memory foam become “saturated” with heat, they reach a point where they can absorb no more. At this point, you can expect your mattress to heat up.
This kind of memory foam is also more durable than traditional foam which means manufacturers can offer better warranties. Do bear in mind however, that due to the support gel foam offers, it will feel firmer than traditional memory foam.
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